Since being formed in 1993, Major League Soccer has been doing all it can to establish itself on the world scene. And, while the league's reputation has undoubtedly grown organically, what's helped it along the way is when teams such as LA Galaxy attract big-name players to the MLS. And quite a few of them have joined the Galaxy over the years.
Is there a more prominent name or personality to have ever graced LA Galaxy or the MLS than Zlatan Ibrahimovic? We don't think so. Of course, Ibrahimovic is a supremely talented footballer, even now at forty-one. Still, what he brought to the league because of his status had the most significant impact. The Swedish icon undoubtedly helped propel the MLS and the US forward, and arguably, as a result, the US team traveled to Qatar, with more people likely to tune in to see if the United States gets through the World Cup 2022 Group Stages.
There is no doubt that Ibrahimovic had a significant impact, but the game changed forever when David Beckham headed to the MLS to join the Galaxy. Without Beckham, there wouldn’t be the Designated Player rule, which has been key to the likes of Ibra and others joining the league. What you could also suggest that Beckham added when he joined LA Galaxy wasn’t just his footballing ability but that he’s a global celebrity. This status and the lifestyle he showed off undoubtedly attracted more big names to the top flight in US soccer.
You may look at the likes of Ibrahimovic and Beckham and think, how can they not be right up there as the best players in MLS history? And they will be in the eyes of most people. But you could also argue that one of the best, if not the best, was striker Robbie Keane. During his time with the Galaxy, the Dubliner scored 104 goals in 165 games and had a trio of MLS Cups to his name. He was also named in the MLS Best XI on four occasions. Unlike many other so-called stars, Keane was an enormous transfer based on what he brought on the pitch rather than off it.
Javier Hernandez, also known as Chicarito, is a current MLS and LA Galaxy player. If truth be told, his arrival and continued stay are potentially as important as the likes of Ibrahimovic and Beckham joining. Hernandez’s reputation in football speaks for itself, with the striker representing Manchester United, Bayer Leverkusen, and West Ham, to name a few. And, on the goalscoring front, since signing for the Galaxy, the Mexican has weighed in with an impressive thirty-eight goals in seventy-six appearances. Chicarito is also the current captain of LA Galaxy and one of their star men.
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